January – that time of year when many Irish third level students unearth some time from their busy schedules to travel around Europe for a weekend getaway.
Popular destinations such as Amsterdam, Budapest and Prague attract vast amounts of friend groups during the month. However, for some friend groups, there’s nowhere adequate enough to lure them over.
If you find yourself in one of those group of friends, then don’t worry. Although the thought of travelling on your own is daunting, realistically it is only a thought. Travelling on your own is a fantastic experience and if you do right, incredibly worthwhile.
Perhaps it may be too late to go away this month but if you notice leading up to summer and still none of your mates are bothered, then book those flights and take these tips on board.
Firstly, book a hostel. Do not be worried about about sharing a room with six or eight people; in fact, the more in the room the better. Actually the more beds in the room, the cheaper the rate is and if there are more beds, what does that mean? Yes, more people to converse with.
You will surprise yourself how many people are in the same boat as you and that travelling on your own is extremely common.
2. YES MAN
Have you ever seen the film ‘Yes Man’? If not, it’s basically where Jim Carrey says ‘yes’ to everything. The point is, if you get chatting to someone briefly and they ask you to go for a pint or grab a bite to eat, don’t hesitate to say yes.
Note that it is vital that you be wary of your safety at all times so don’t say yes to everything but don’t be overly cautious.
Probably the most obvious. No matter what your preferred destination is, make sure you have researched what you intend on seeing and during the process, discovering unknown locations worthy of visiting.
Find out the most popular tourist attractions and bars and if you get chatting to people at the hostel, find out what they have seen and possibly invite them out for the day if you fancy it.
The bottom line is that travelling on your own isn’t as daunting as you think and if you are willing to reach out to others and explore, it could be one of the most worthwhile experiences of your life.